Caravans

Misleading Facebook caravan giveaway shared thousands of times, online watchdog warns

Caravan

A Facebook post claiming that social media users who share and comment on it could be in with a chance of winning a free caravan has been proven to be fake.

The so-called giveaway was originally posted by a Facebook page called Happy Campers and it was shared more than 5,000 times in less than 24 hours, was

Alongside a number of pictures of the caravan, the post read: “Due to having a few small dents and scratches we have been unable to sell this in our showroom, rather than flog it as second hand we have decided to bring some joy by giving it to someone who has Sharred then commented by May 31st at 5pm.

“Delivery should be within 2 weeks [sic].”

Online watchdog, Full Fact found that the pictures were taken from a website belonging to Adventure Leisure Rentals, a Cumbria-based caravan dealership.

Rick Parker, digital marketing manager at Adventure Leisure Rentals, told Full Fact that he had personally taken the pictures at a product reveal and had previously reported similarly fake giveaways using his images to Facebook.

There are several other indications that the giveaway might not be genuine

Firstly, the text is near-identical to other posts we have checked in the past, indicating that the authors of the posts may simply be copying and pasting previous content.

Secondly, while the post claims that social media users simply have to share and comment, a number of comments have been replied to by the Happy Campers Facebook page directing them to a “winners” page.

Related: No evidence Facebook motorhome ‘giveaway’ is real, watchdog warns

This page then encourages people to like and comment on a second post, directs them to “register” on a third party site and then asks them to post proof of their registration in the comments.

In response to some of these comments, the Happy Campers page then responds: “Our team is having trouble sending prizes to you maybe you haven’t taken the survey on the link, make sure you register correctly [sic].”

Thirdly, there are a number of spelling and grammatical errors in the posts themselves, which can be an indication that they have not been shared by a legitimate source such as an official brand account.

In a statement, Full Fact said: “Misleading images are some of the most common kinds of misinformation we see online, but they can sometimes be hard to spot.

“It’s always worth checking if a picture shows what the post says it does before you share it.”

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